Couple’s shock as DNA test shows bodies not their sons

Thursday February 19 2015

Ms Jacinta Wanjiku and her husband Dedan

Ms Jacinta Wanjiku and her husband Dedan Kimathi at their home in Nairobi. JENNIFER MUIRURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By EUNICE KILONZO
More by this Author

A couple is demanding answers from Pumwani Hospital over the whereabouts of their twins after DNA tests on the bodies of two babies showed that there was no genetic relationship between them and the alleged parents.

Mr Dedan Kimathi’s wife Jacinta Wanjiku Gathua gave birth to twins at Pumwani Hospital on January 6, but doctors there told her that the babies had died 12 hours before they were born.

However, Mrs Wanjiku has always insisted that the babies were alive when she gave birth and that she even heard one of them cry. The doctors later gave her two bodies, insisting they were her stillborn twins.

However, a DNA test has shown that the dead babies were neither twins nor were they in any way biologically related to Mrs Wanjiku, 24, and Mr Kimathi.

The test was conducted between January 27 and February 4 at the Government Chemist in Nairobi.

The head of the Government Chemist, Mr Leonard Kariuki, confirmed the test was conducted at his institution following a request by officers from Shauri Moyo Police Station where Mr Kimathi was required to report the deaths before the tests could be carried out. The findings were presented in a report forwarded to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Dr Joseph Kagunda Kimani, a forensic DNA analyst at the Government Chemist, who signed the report, said his team was asked to examine the samples provided and determine parentage.

EXCLUDED AS PARENTS

“We received nail clippings from Baby A and Baby B from the City Mortuary and tested them against the DNA samples from the two parents, Dedan and his wife. They are excluded as parents and neither are the babies twins,” said the expert.

Every person inherits half of their DNA from their biological mother and the other half from their biological father.

Therefore, an offspring should exhibit genetic information from the parents. On hearing the news, Mr Kimathi asked: “Where are my babies? They told me my wife had still births. I want my babies. Also, whose babies did they give us?”

After her traumatic experience, Mrs Wanjiku and her husband moved from their old home in Kariobangi South to a new one in Dandora. Yesterday, she was as optimistic as she was shocked by the DNA report.

She said: “Let them bring them back. I may not have the milk to breastfeed them but I want my babies.”

She appealed to whoever has her children to take good care of them until they are re-united with their biological parents.

During yesterday’s interview, Mrs Wanjiku kept folding baby clothes and arranging the napkins she had prepared for her babies, who are one month and two weeks old today.

The Kimathis have another daughter who will turn six this year.
A detective in charge of the case refused to comment on the matter. However, the Kimathis have recorded statements with the DCI at its Mazingira House headquarters.

BABIES HAD DIED

When contacted by the Daily Nation for a comment, Dr Robert Aisi, the Chief Health Officer at the Nairobi City County, under whose jurisdiction Pumwani Hospital falls, said he was in a meeting and would call back.

The Director of Public Communications at the county, Ms Beryl Okundi said in an email: “Let me get to the bottom of this and revert back to you.”

On January 5, Mr Kimathi took Ms Wanjiku, who was in labour, to the hospital, but the next day at 4pm, he was told that their twin babies had died.
According to medical records, the babies were stillborn, delivered on January 6, at around 10.30am.

Asked whether doctors conducted tests on Ms Wanjiku upon admission to determine the nature of her pregnancy, given that she was expecting one child but delivered twins, Pumwani Hospital’s chief executive officer Lazarus Omondi said those were facts Mrs Wanjiku ought to have found out at her antenatal clinic and not at the time of delivery.

After the Daily Nation highlighted her plea for help soon after the incident, several well-wishers including nominated Senator Beth Mugo offered to pay the costs incurred to carry out the DNA test. Eventually, the Ministry of Health, through Dr Aisi, offered to conduct the tests for free.

Dr Aisi had, in a statement issued on January 13, demanded an “unconditional apology” from the Daily Nation six days after this paper reported the matter. According to him, the story was published in “bad faith”.